Discovering Portofino: The Jewel of the Italian Riviera

Discovering Portofino: The Jewel of the Italian Riviera

Nestled on the Italian Riviera, Portofino is a picturesque fishing village that has transformed into one of Italy’s most glamorous and sought-after destinations. Known for its colorful waterfront houses, luxury yachts, and pristine Mediterranean waters, Portofino attracts visitors from around the world seeking both relaxation and sophistication. This article explores Portofino’s location, rich history, activities, and the most convenient way to travel there from Rome: a private transfer with a chauffeur.


Portofino is located in the Liguria region of northwestern Italy. This charming village is situated on the Italian Riviera, specifically on a small promontory that juts out into the Ligurian Sea.

Coordinates and Surroundings

  • Coordinates: 44.3031° N, 9.2119° E
  • Nearby Cities: Portofino is approximately 35 kilometers southeast of Genoa, the region’s capital. It is also near the towns of Santa Margherita Ligure and Rapallo, both of which are well-known for their scenic beauty and cultural attractions.
  • Natural Beauty: The village is surrounded by the lush, green hills of the Portofino Regional Park, offering stunning views and outdoor activities.


Portofino’s history dates back to Roman times when it was known as “Portus Delphini,” referring to the dolphins that frequented the area. Over the centuries, Portofino has evolved from a modest fishing village to a fashionable resort town, attracting artists, celebrities, and jet-setters.

Early History

  • Roman Era: Portofino was initially established by the Romans as a port. Its strategic location made it a vital point for maritime trade and military defense.
  • Middle Ages: During the medieval period, Portofino fell under the control of various noble families and was often contested due to its valuable port and fertile land.

Modern Era

  • 19th Century: The advent of the 19th century saw Portofino gain popularity among European aristocrats and artists, drawn by its natural beauty and tranquility.
  • 20th Century: In the 1950s and 1960s, Portofino became a hotspot for Hollywood stars and the international elite, solidifying its reputation as a luxury destination. The village’s unique charm and exclusivity have been preserved, making it a timeless retreat.

Activities in Portofino

Portofino offers a variety of activities that cater to different interests, from leisurely strolls and dining to adventurous hikes and water sports.

Sightseeing and Cultural Attractions

  • Castello Brown: This historic castle offers panoramic views of the village and the sea. It dates back to the 16th century and houses a museum that details Portofino’s history.
  • Church of San Giorgio: This picturesque church, perched on a hill, is believed to hold the relics of Saint George. It provides stunning views of the harbor.
  • Piazza Martiri dell’Olivetta: The main square of Portofino, surrounded by vibrant, pastel-colored buildings and upscale boutiques.

Outdoor Activities

  • Hiking: The Portofino Regional Park offers numerous hiking trails that wind through lush vegetation and provide breathtaking views of the coastline.
  • Boating and Sailing: Renting a boat or yacht is a popular way to explore the Ligurian Sea and visit secluded coves and nearby islands.
  • Diving and Snorkeling: The clear waters around Portofino are ideal for diving and snorkeling, with rich marine life and underwater archaeological sites.

Dining and Shopping

  • Gourmet Dining: Portofino boasts several Michelin-starred restaurants as well as charming trattorias where you can enjoy Ligurian cuisine, famous for its seafood and pesto.
  • Shopping: The village is home to high-end boutiques and artisan shops, offering everything from designer fashion to local crafts.

Getting to Portofino

Traveling to Portofino from Rome involves a journey of about 450 kilometers. While there are multiple ways to reach this stunning destination, the most comfortable and stress-free option is a private transfer with a chauffeur.

By Car

Driving from Rome to Portofino takes approximately 5 to 6 hours, depending on traffic. The journey involves traveling on the A1 motorway from Rome to Florence, then taking the A11 to Pisa, and finally the A12 to Genoa, exiting at Rapallo and following local roads to Portofino.

By Train

An alternative is to take a train from Rome to Santa Margherita Ligure-Portofino station. The journey typically involves a transfer in either Genoa or Pisa and takes around 4 to 5 hours. From Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino is a short taxi or bus ride away.

The Best Way: Private Transfer

For the ultimate convenience and comfort, a private transfer with a chauffeur is highly recommended. Here’s why:


A private transfer offers door-to-door service, eliminating the need for multiple transfers and the hassle of navigating public transportation. Your chauffeur will pick you up from your location in Rome and drive you directly to Portofino.


Traveling in a private vehicle ensures a comfortable and relaxing journey. Many services offer luxury cars equipped with amenities such as air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and refreshments, making the trip enjoyable.

Stress-Free Experience

A private transfer allows you to sit back and enjoy the scenic drive without worrying about directions, traffic, or parking. Your chauffeur handles all the logistics, ensuring a smooth and stress-free journey.


With a private transfer, you can travel directly to Portofino without the waiting times associated with trains and buses. This direct route saves valuable time and allows you to start your vacation sooner.

Personalized Service

Private transfer services provide a high level of personalization. Whether you need assistance with luggage, require child seats, or have specific pick-up and drop-off requests, your chauffeur can accommodate your needs.


Portofino is a captivating destination that combines natural beauty, historical charm, and modern luxury. From its stunning coastal views and vibrant harbor to its rich cultural heritage and exclusive atmosphere, Portofino offers an unforgettable experience.

For those traveling from Rome, a private transfer with a chauffeur is the most convenient and stress-free way to reach this idyllic village. This option ensures a comfortable and personalized journey, allowing you to relax and enjoy the scenic drive through the Italian countryside. Whether you are seeking relaxation, adventure, or a taste of the high life, Portofino promises a truly magical escape.